View Full Version : What's better MKV or ISO??

March 11th, 2011, 09:02 PM
I started downloading my movie collection using MakeMKV and DVDFab as an iso file. What do you guys prefere? I read that MKVs take less space and thats a plus, I just have always used DVDFab and I am kinda use to the system. BUT MakeMKV seems easy enough, just wish I was sure when picking the main movie only and audio track I want to use like in DVDFab. Any and all opinions wanted..Thanks-Don

March 11th, 2011, 09:53 PM
Some past threads discussing this here (http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?p=105307#post105307), here (http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?p=145191#post145191), and here (http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?p=121847#post121847).

My full opinion is buried in there somewhere. Heh.

The short answer, as far as I'm concerned, is that it all depends on your storage needs/ability and whether or not full menus and special features are important.

March 11th, 2011, 10:53 PM
Thanks Prospero, I did search and didn't find any of those threads. Good reading, I think for me ISO is the way to go. I have already compressed/ converted most of my DVDs using DVDfab to around 4 gigs. So it should not take too much room as ISOs. About 250 movies per TB, or so. Now to find a 4 bay NAS!

March 12th, 2011, 12:11 AM
For DVD's I definitely recommend Handbrake'ing them to MKV's. Take much less space, plus I hate the stupid extras and menus. I just want to see the movie!

March 12th, 2011, 01:58 AM
For DVD's I definitely recommend Handbrake'ing them to MKV's. Take much less space, plus I hate the stupid extras and menus. I just want to see the movie!

That's only if you compress them with an MKV. You can put an uncompressed DVD folder structure into either an MKV or ISO. But only an MKV can you put an encoded or compressed format.

So, uncompressed or encode, you could use either one just the same......;)

March 12th, 2011, 05:10 AM
if you want the dvd exactly as it would have been in physical form then iso is untouchable. if you have the storage go iso

March 12th, 2011, 05:12 AM
Ah, here's (http://forums.boxee.tv/showpost.php?p=105633&postcount=8) the post I was trying to find earlier.

It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish and how much storage space you are willing to use.

A DVD ISO will preserve all available quality and the menus and extra features (if you rip them properly, at least), but you're looking at about 4.5-9GB of space for a single (presumably) standard-def movie.

If you rip the same DVD to an AVC (h.264) .mkv file, you lose just a little bit of quality but you can get away with a file size that fills a CD (~715MB) or maybe two (~1450MB) instead of the 4.5-9GB of a full .iso.

As for HD content: ripping a full-length Blu-Ray movie to your hard drive in an .iso can take up anywhere from 25-50GB! While this will obviously preserve the excellent quality you get with Blu-Ray, the standard file size for a movie compressed to an AVC .mkv file is 4.5-7GB for 720p and 7-14GB for 1080p (depending on movie length and bitrate preferences).

This means that with a terabyte-sized drive, you can fit about 15-30 BluRay .iso images or about 90 1080p .mkv files or about 175-180 720p .mkv files.

The choice is yours. As I said: it all depends on your needs and your total storage space versus your total number of movies you'll want to store. If you have the space, by all means, go with the .iso format. If you're after storage efficiency, go with converting to .mkv.

March 12th, 2011, 09:42 AM
I did read that post, and made kinda made me want to go the ISO format. Also if you compress a 5gig movie down to a gig don't you lose any video quality?? Sure it would look good on an iphone but wouldn't it look poor on a 60" plasma? Once again thanks guys, alot of knowledge on here!

March 12th, 2011, 09:01 PM
When you're talking SD (480p) resolutions as in a DVD encode, the quality loss is very minimal. Most people wouldn't even notice it.

Reason being that DVDs use MPEG2 as their video codec, which is very old and (by today's standards) very inefficient. The encoding software being discussed here uses newer codecs, the most advanced of which is h.264. The advantage of these newer, more efficient codecs is that they're capable of achieving much higher quality for the total size of the final media file. This is why a 1.5GB mkv can look ~95% as good as a 8.5GB DVD .iso if it's encoded properly.

But yeah, if space isn't a premium, .iso files are fine. Just be aware of your options.